St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s basketball team announced its team awards for the 2012-13 season at its post-season banquet held April 28 in the Three Crowns Room. Along with honoring six seniors for their four years of hard work and commitment to Gustavus women’s basketball, Head Coach Laurie Kelly named the team’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Most Valuable Teammate, Most Improved Player, and Most Valuable Player.
Taking home Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors was junior guard Julia Dysthe (White Bear Lake, Minn.). Given the task of locking down to opposition’s top guard throughout the season, Dysthe was the anchor the Gustavus’s perimeter defense. The junior averaged a team-high 31.9 minutes per game and led the Gusties with 57 steals, ranking her ninth in the MIAC. Dysthe averaged 12.3 points per game and shot 46.3-percent from the field and 89.8-percent from the free throw line.
Earning the Most Valuable Teammate Award was senior guard Whitney Novak (Oak Park Heights, Minn.). A team player with an always upbeat, always positive attitude, Novak was a vocal leader on the Gustavus bench. Novak played career-high 22 minutes and scored three points in her one career start against Bethel on Jan. 23. The Gusties went on to beat the Royals 69-42 in that game. The Stillwater High School product played in a total of 33 games over her four-year career.
The team’s Most Improved Player Award went to senior Mia Sandstrom (Chanhassen, Minn.). Playing in just 13 games leading up to her senior campaign, Sandstrom saw the court in all 26 games and averaged 17.6 minutes for Coach Kelly this season. She scored 86 points after shooting .538 from the field. Sandstrom also brought down 85 rebounds and scored double-figures on two occasions – one of which being a 10-point night after going 5-for-7 from the floor against Saint Mary’s in the first round of the MIAC Playoffs.
Standout senior forward Abby Rothenbuehler (North Mankato, Minn.) rounded out the night’s awards section by being named the team’s Most Valuable Player. The lone Gustie representative on the 2012-13 All-Conference Team, Rothenbuehler scored a career-high 327 points for an average of 12.6 points per game. The Black and Gold’s leading scorer shot .483 from the field, .447 from three-point range, and .743 at the line. A local product from North Mankato, Rothenbuehler registered 2,196 minutes in 106 total games for Gustavus. She is the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 121 and ranks fifth in rebounding with 681 boards. Abby scored 897 total points and was a career 44.9-percent shooter with a Gustavus jersey on her back.
Following the team awards presentation, Coach Kelly announced the team captains for the 2013-14 season. The new captains taking the reigns include Julia Dysthe, Rachelle Blaschko (Jr., Henderson, Minn.), and Britta Rinke (Jr., Waconia, Minn.).